One of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai is a wealthy player in this oil-producing region. The city is one of most visited in the world; in fact, Dubai relies on tourism, and has marketed itself as the “shopping capital” of the Middle East. Indeed Dubai International Airport’s duty-free areas are a major tourist attraction in their own right. The airport is a major aviation hub in the area, and one of the biggest airports in the world by passenger volume.
Transfers at Dubai International can be stressful. It’s a huge, linear building – so be prepared to do some walking if you’re catching a connecting flight. Terminals 1 and 3 are used solely for international tourists and make up 90 per cent of the airport’s total passenger traffic. Terminal 3 is used only by Emirates Airlines and is connected to Terminal 1 via a transit area, so you don’t need to go through immigration to get from one to the other. However, you do have to make your way through the duty-free area – which is often very crowded. Terminal 2 is used by regional and low-cost airlines. It’s on the opposite end of the airport, so you’ll have to get to and from it via airport shuttle, an almost 30-minute journey.